Belize Tourism Q1 2024: All-Time High & Record-Breaking Tourism

Belize Tourism Q1 2024

 

Record-breaking numbers for the first quarter in Belize’s overnight arrivals!

2024 has been a record-breaking year for Belize tourism! In Q1 2024, Belize has seen record-breaking tourism arrivals (January to March 2024).

This indicates that year-to-date, Belize Overnight Tourism has had a record-breaking numbers and the highest volume in the countries tourism history.

 

Belize Overnight Tourism Arrivals in 2024

 

January 2024 Overnight Tourists: 57,628

February 2024 Overnight Tourists: 59,067

March 2024 Overnight Tourists: 69,202

 

Total Q1 2024 Overnight Tourists: 185,897

 

February was record breaking with 59,067. But March saw an all-time high and new record with 69,202 arrivals. March 2024 first time Belize has had over 60,000 overnight tourism arrivals (with 69,202 overnight arrivals in the month).

Both of the record breaking months (February & March) have made Q1 2024 the highest ever quarter for overnight tourism in Belize! Total Overnight Tourists for Q1 in 2024 was 185,897.

 

 

 

Belize Monthly Tourism Arrivals

 

2024 has seen record-breaking inbound tourism numbers. This has been largely due to the increased number of direct flights and the improved accessibility to Belize (internationally).

February 2024 was a record-setting month for Belize tourism. This record-setting tourism month was quickly superseded by March 2024 which saw an impressive 69,202 overnight tourists arrive in Belize!

March 2024 has now became the highest single month for overnight tourism in Belize at 69,202 tourists. The prior single-month record (before 2024) was in March 2019 at 57,697 overnight tourists.

Total Overnight Tourists for Q1 in 2024 was 185,897. This is 27.9% higher than in 2023 (last year Q1) and 17.5% higher than the prior record set in 2019.

 

January to March Belize Tourism Arrivals

 

 

Belize Tourism Growth

 

Q1 2024 saw a 27.9% increase in overnight tourism arrivals from Q1 2023.

Q1 2024 was a 17.5% increase from Q1 in prior peak year of 2019.

 

Annual Q1 Belize Tourism Arrivals

 

Overnight tоurіѕm arrivals to Belize increased bу оvеr 27.9% іn Q1 2024 (Јаnuаrу to March), compared tо the ѕаmе реrіоd lаѕt уеаr (2023). The trend in Belize tourism is expected to have continued growth, this is seen by the 17.5% increase in overnight tourism from 2019 (Q1). This is expected to result in an оvеrаll 11% estimated growth fоr the Belize tоurіѕm ѕесtоr іn 2024.

Belize tourism rebounded strongly in 2023 and has continued in 2024. The stats from the early months of 2024 signal that the year 2024 will be a record-breaking year for inbound tourism to Belize!

 

 

 

Веlіzе’ѕ tоurіѕm industry іѕ booming, as seen in Q1 of 2024 and the first few mоnthѕ оf the year setting all-time highs and hіѕtоrіс rесоrd-breaking numbers in overnight tourism. The tourism growth (the largest sector in Belizean economy) is estimated tо gеnеrаtе аn unprecedented $1.4 bіllіоn іn rеvеnuе in 2024, this was announced by Minister of Тоurіѕm Аnthоnу Маhlеr.

 

Belize Tourism Q1 Arrivals 2017 to 2024 (January to March)

Below is the overnight tourism trend from 2017 to 2024 for January to March (Q1 of each year);

Belize Tourism Board Data

 

 

Increased International Flights to Belize

The largest factor to the growth in Belize tourism has been the increased air transport and increase in direct international flights to Belize. In March 2024, there were 511 international flights landing at BZE (Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport in Belize City). 

PGIA Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport BZE

 

 

Direct Flights Washington DC & Baltimore (BWI) to Belize (BZE) with Southwest Airlines

SouthWest Airlines started direct flights from BWI to Belize on March 9, 2024

SouthWest Airlines BWI to BZE

 

Direct Flights New York (JFK) to Belize (BZE) with JetBlue

JetBlue Starts Direct Flights from New York JFK

JetBlue Announces Direct Flights to Belize from New York JFK

JetBlue New York (JFK) to Belize (BZE)

  • Monday
  • Wednesday
  • Saturday

Scheduled flight times are the following (all times are local):

  • JFK to BZE: Departs at 8:29 a.m. and arrives at 12:14 p.m.
  • BZE to JFK: Departs at 1:30 p.m. and arrives at 7:00 p.m.

JetBlue Belize Flight Deals

 

 

Belize Real Estate & Investment Opportunities

The Belize tоurіѕm ѕесtоr rеmаіnѕ роіѕеd fоr further growth with more development and improved accessibility! This has industry experts орtіmіѕtіс and bullish on Belize as a destination (for tourists and investors).

Tourism growth, increased awareness, offshore residency, and improved connectivity have all led to higher investment yields for real estate and investment properties in Belize. Ambergris Caye remains the the top destinations in Belize for overnight tourists.

Additional Links:

Belize Tourism January & February 2024

Ambergris & Belize Tourism Data 2023

Caribbean & Regional Tourism 2023

If you are looking to learn more about Belize tourism and Belize real estate, contact us!

 

 

 

Practical Guide for Potential Expats on How To Move to Belize: Luigi Wewege

How To Move to Belize: A Practical Guide for Potential Expats

 

The President of Caye International Bank, Luigi Wewege provides his insight into moving to Belize!

Luigi Wewege offers a guide on how to move to Belize. He talks about why Belize is worth considering for potential expats, and the key factors in making a move, including residency options, cost of living, and business opportunities.

Belize offers a unique crossover of Central American and Caribbean vibes, charm, and natural beauty. With its lush rainforests, ancient Maya ruins, and the world’s second-largest barrier reef, Belize has become a sought-after destination for those seeking a new place to call home. In this article we’ll look how to move to Belize and what you need to consider.

 

Why Belize?

  1. Natural beauty: From the breathtaking Belize Barrier Reef to the majestic Maya Mountains, Belize is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Residents can enjoy activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, hiking, bird watching, and exploring ancient ruins. The country’s commitment to conservation ensures these natural wonders are preserved for future generations.
  2. Relaxing lifestyle: Belize promotes a slower, more relaxed pace of life, perfect for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city living. The culture prioritizes personal relationships and enjoying the simple pleasures of life, whether it’s lounging on a beach, sharing a meal with friends, or admiring a stunning sunset.
  3. Welcoming community: Known for their warmth and hospitality, the people of Belize come from diverse backgrounds, creating a rich cultural tapestry. With English as the official language, newcomers find it easy to integrate socially and navigate daily life and business.

Belize offers a tranquil environment, vibrant culture, and ample opportunities for adventure, making it an ideal destination for those seeking residency and a fresh start. So let’s dive in on how to move to Belize!

 

Attractive Residency Programs

Belize’s residency programs are designed to attract expatriates looking for a new lifestyle in a tropical paradise. These programs cater to a wide array of individuals, from retirees to remote workers, offering them not just a place to live but a lifestyle that blends work, leisure, and adventure. When thinking about how to move to Belize, a good place to start is with your legal residency situation:

 

Qualified Retired Persons (QRP) Program

The QRP program is tailored for individuals aged 45 and older who wish to enjoy their retirement years in Belize. One of the most enticing aspects of this program is the tax exemptions. QRPs are exempt from paying taxes on income derived from outside Belize, making it advantageous for retirees who receive pensions or have investments abroad. The program also allows for the duty-free importation of personal and household items within the first year of residency. These benefits significantly reduce the cost of settling in Belize.

 

Permanent Residency

For those who are not retired or do not meet the age requirement of the QRP program, permanent residency in Belize is a viable option. The process is straightforward, especially for individuals who can demonstrate a steady income from outside Belize. This income assures the Belizean government that the applicant can support themselves without taking employment away from Belizean citizens. Permanent residents enjoy many of the same rights as Belizean citizens, making it an excellent option for remote workers or entrepreneurs looking to start a business in Belize.

 

Remote Working Options

Belize is increasingly popular among remote workers due to its reliable internet infrastructure, especially in tourist and areas. The country offers a unique opportunity to work in an environment that others might only experience during vacation. Imagine conducting your daily business with the Caribbean Sea or rainforest as your backdrop! This shift in the work environment can lead to increased creativity, productivity, and an overall better quality of life. Remote workers in Belize can easily blend work and leisure, taking advantage of the country’s natural wonders and adventure activities in their free time.

 

Relaxed Immigration Policies

Belize’s immigration policies are welcoming and accommodating, reflecting the country’s overall friendly and relaxed atmosphere. The government understands the value that expatriates bring to the local economy and culture. As such, it has created programs that facilitate a smooth transition for those looking to make Belize their new home. Whether it’s through the QRP program, permanent residency, or other visa options, Belize offers a straightforward path to residency for those seeking a new tropical life.

 

Affordable Cost of Living

Belize’s reputation as an affordable escape is well-earned, making it a magnet for retirees, remote workers, and those seeking a more cost-effective lifestyle without compromising on quality of life.

 

Housing Affordability

The housing market in Belize is typically more affordable than North American or European locales. Renting a comfortable home or apartment can be surprisingly inexpensive, with prices lower than what one might pay in the US or Europe for a comparable location and living space. For those looking to purchase property, Belize offers a range of options from modest houses to luxury villas, often at prices well below those in more developed countries. This affordability in housing means that living in a picturesque setting, once thought to be a luxury, can actually be quite attainable.

 

Food & Entertainment

The cost of food in Belize is another area where savings can be found, especially when buying local produce and products. Markets are filled with fresh fruits, vegetables, and seafood at prices that are a fraction of what one might expect to pay elsewhere. This bounty of fresh, affordable food supports a healthy lifestyle and allows for the enjoyment of dining out without breaking the bank. Belizean cuisine, with its mix of Caribbean, Maya, and Latin influences, offers delicious meals in local eateries at very reasonable prices.

 

Belize’s attraction both in its beauty and as an investment location make it a compelling option for anyone seeking to relocate. By following the tips on how to move to Belize above, you can approach this new era with confidence, armed with the knowledge needed to start your new life on the best possible footing!

 

Record-Breaking Belize Tourism Arrivals in 2024

2024 Record-Breaking Belize Tourism Arrivals

 

In 2024, Belize has seen record-breaking tourism arrivals. Overnight tourist arrival figures indicate that the total number of arrivals for January & February 2024 surpassed the same period in 2019 (prior high records for overnight tourism). This indicates that year-to-date, Belize Overnight Tourism has had a record-breaking numbers and the highest volume in the countries tourism history.

The figures for February represent an all-time high for any single month for overnight tourism in Belize!

 

 

January 2024 Overnight Tourists: 57,628

February 2024 Overnight Tourists: 59,067

Belize Tourism Board Data

 

Overnight Tourism to Belize Annually

 

Below is the overnight tourism trend from 2017 to 2024 for January & February;

 

 

Below is the monthly and total overnight tourism for January & February (2019, 2022, 2023, 2024);

 

 

Belize Tourism in 2023 & 2024

2024 has seen record-breaking inbound tourism numbers. This has been largely due to the increased number of direct flights and the improved accessibility to Belize (internationally). February 2024 was a record-setting month for Belize tourism.

February 2024 became the highest single month for overnight tourism in Belize at 59,067 tourists. The prior single-month record was in March 2019 at 57,697 overnight tourists.

 

February 2024 Overnight Tourists: 59,067

January 2024 Overnight Tourists: 57,628

December 2023 Overnight Tourists: 55,574

 

Monthly Belize Overnight Tourism

 

 

Annual Belize Overnight Tourism

Overnight Tourism in 2023 experienced a remarkable 25% increase compared to the previous year. In 2023, Belize saw a total of 464,723 overnight tourists.

 

 

A shining moment in 2023 for Belize tourism was in December 2023, when the country recorded the second-highest overnight tourist arrival for any given month in its history, welcoming a remarkable 55,574 visitors. This represents Belize’s growth and trajectory as a destination. Belize has been a top emerging destination, and the allure signals a positive trajectory for the tourism industry.

Belize Tourism Board (BTB) has remained confident as Belize is poised for an upsurge in airlifts from the North American market by the end of 2024.  The projection comes as tourism to Belize is set to surpass the 2019 pre-pandemic level. The capacity’s expansion reaffirms Belize’s position as a premier destination in the Caribbean & Central American tourism industry.

Тhе роѕіtіvе mоmеntum оbѕеrvеd іn 2023 and continued in 2024 ѕеrvеѕ аѕ а tеѕtаmеnt tо Веlіzе’ѕ еndurіng арреаl аnd іtѕ аbіlіtу tо аdарt tо еvоlvіng trаvеl dуnаmісѕ. The stats from the early months of 2024 signal that the year 2024 will be a record-breaking year for inbound tourism to Belize!

 

 

Quarterly Belize Tourism Arrivals

 

 

 

Monthly Overnight Tourism Arrivals

 

 

BTB 2024 January & February Record Tourism

 

Below is the overnight tourism trend from 2017 to 2024 for January & February;

 

 

 

The Belize tоurіѕm ѕесtоr rеmаіnѕ роіѕеd fоr furthеr grоwth, оffеrіng аn орtіmіѕtіс оutlооk fоr thе іnduѕtrу’ѕ соntіnuеd rесоvеrу. With the boom in Belize tourism and the growth in the sector, the Belize investment opportunities and Belize real estate sector have boomed as well!

Ambergris & Belize Tourism Data 2023

Caribbean & Regional Tourism 2023

If you are looking to learn more about Belize tourism and Belize real estate, contact us!

 

Reggie Bullock NBA Players Private Island in Belize

Reggie Bullock Private Island

 

NBA player Reggie Bullock acquired an island in Belize and has already started development on his private island! You can already see that the plans for a villa and luxury vacation resort are already well underway.

Reginald Ryedell Bullock is an American professional basketball player for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association.

Bullock made headlines in April 2023 when it was revealed that he had bought this five-acre private island in Belize to create a vacation spot. Since then, it has been dubbed ‘BULLOCK ISLAND‘!

According to Reggie Bullock, Bullock Island isn’t just a place for him and his family to get together; it’s also somewhere he plans to use as an investment as he builds his resort retreat. With plans to add a restaurant, bar, spa, basketball court, pool, and much more, he wants Bullock Island to be an investment for himself and the local community.

Star endorsements lead to publicity, especially when they are investing in an emerging vacation market like Belize. Celebrity endorsements and acquisition of property are major draws not only in the real estate market but also in tourism. This endorsement and development are signs of the Belize real estate market trajectory.

Check out the latest video above to see the luxurious island and Belize’s exciting development project underway by NBA player Reggie Bullock.

This is an exciting MUST-WATCH video!

 

 

Welcome to Belize, Reggie!

For more information on Belize real estate or to learn more about investing in Belize, contact us!

 

Belize Achieves Record Employment & Economic Boom in 2023

Belize Economy in 2023

In 2023, Belize achieved record levels of employment. This has, in turn, led to an economic boom and a growing economy. Belize Prime Minister John Briceno announced the monumental accomplishment Belize achieved with a record employment level in 2023. Belize touched an unprecedented 96% employment rate among those seeking jobs.

А kеу fасtоr іn thіѕ ѕuссеѕѕ wаѕ thе іnсrеаѕе іn thе mіnіmum wаgе, whісh роѕіtіvеlу іmрасtеd Веlіzеаnѕ bу increasing thеіr еаrnіng роtеntіаl. There were a number of economic sectors and industries which contributed to the growth. Kеу ѕесtоrѕ іnсludіng tоurіѕm, соnѕtruсtіоn, Вuѕіnеѕѕ Рrосеѕѕ Оutѕоurсіng (ВРО) сеntеrѕ, аnd аgrісulturе hаvе ехреrіеnсеd ѕubѕtаntіаl grоwth, рlауіng а ріvоtаl rоlе іn есоnоmіс dеvеlорmеnt аnd growth of Belize. The growth in Belize’s tourism and key sectors has led to improved employment opportunities, ultimately increasing the rate of employment to record highs.

 

Driving Forces Behind the Economic Boom

In 2023, Belize has seen substantial growth in key sectors such as tourism, construction, business process outsourcing (BPO), and agriculture. These industries have been pillars of the Belize economy, and have been instrumental in driving economic development in Belize and creating job opportunities for Belize citizens. Not only did Belize see record high employment rates in 2023, the economy was further bolstered by a 3.4% GDP growth in the third quarter.

The Belize tourism sector, in particular Ambergris Caye (San Pedro Town), witnessed a significant 27% increase, one of the highest since the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Belize Tourism & Investment 

 

Anticipating a Banner Year for Tourism in 2024

Looking towards the future, 2024 is predicted to be a major year for Belize’s tourism industry, with the majority of overnight tourism going to Ambergris Caye & San Pedro Town. Several initiatives and new programs are in the pipeline, which indicates a record year for Belize tourism in 2024. Some of the most recent announcements include a direct JetBlue flight from New York and more frequent flights from the U.S. With additional SouthWest flights from D.C. & Baltimore. As well as extended flights from Canada (Toronto & Calgary) through WestJet. These additional flights and new initiatives are expected to boost the already burgeoning Belize tourism industry.

 

Continued Commitment to Economic Prosperity

In 2024, Belize is looking to enhance quality assurance, infrastructure, and marketing to capitalize on the expected growth. Belize made massive economic strides in 2023, which has created jobs and enhanced the nation’s prosperity.

Aside from the economic gains in 2023, Belize also made significant strides in health care. Belize was certified as malaria-free by the World Health Organisation, joining the ranks of several countries achieving milestones in disease elimination.

Economic growth and record levels of employment were the key takeaways from the Belize 2023 рrоduсtіvіtу rероrt fіndіngѕ. What is more exciting is the growth and opportunity to come as Belize continues to be a focal point of foreign direct investment (especially in the tourism sector). Thе аntісіраtеd grоwth іn tоurіѕm (for 2024), ѕіgnals а ѕtrоng есоnоmу, rеаdу fоr соntіnuеd ѕuссеѕѕ іn thе uрсоmіng уеаr.

 

Contact us for more information on investing in Belize and Belize real estate!

 

Belize Digital Nomad Visa

Belize Digital Nomad Visa

The Belize Digital Nomad Visa is “A Long Stay Visitor Permit” and is a permit granted to any person who intends to stay in Belize for an extended period of time.

Belize is a great destination for digital nomads looking for a tropical paradise to work remotely. The island of Ambergris Caye has some of the fastest internet speeds in the region, with a very reliable network. San Pedro Town, Mahogany Bay Village, and areas of Ambergris Caye have Fibre Optic. Other areas have high-speed LTE service.

The country offers a long-term visa specifically designed for digital nomads, which makes it easy to stay in the country for extended periods of time.

A Long Stay Permit is valid for 6 months after the date issued. The Digital Nomad Visa is done through Immigration, which enables a person and their dependents to remain in Belize for up to 6 months.

The Digital Nomad Visa eliminates the back and forth with immigration every month for a tourist visa extension.

Yes! Belize has a visa suitable for digital nomads called “Work where You Vacation”.

This is Belize’s attempt to attract digital nomads and remote workers from all over the world who want to stay in the country for 6 months, with the opportunity to extend the period.

 

Belize Digital Nomad Visa

The Work Where You Vacation or Long Stay Visitor Permit (Digital Nomad Visa) program includes:

  • Work permits waived for participants
  • Student permits waived for children of participants
  • Special offers on activities, entertainment, and accommodations through “Work Where You Vacation” lodging partners.

 

Belize Digital Nomad Visa Requirements

The documents required to apply for the Belize Digital Nomad Visa are the following:

  • Proof of employment outside of Belize (min. annual income of USD $75,000 for individuals, USD $100,000 for couples/families)
  • A notarized banking reference and statement of account
  • A clear criminal record (no more than 6 months old)
  • A valid passport

 

Belize Digital Nomad Visa Fees

  • USD $500 per Adult.
  • USD $200 per Child

Fees apply to the applicant and any accompanying dependents.

 

Who Qualifies for the Digital Nomad Visa

Applicants who meet the below requirements can apply:

  1. The applicant is a citizen or permanent resident of the European Union, United Kingdom, United States of America, or Canada.
  2. The applicant is employed outside of Belize and
    • has a minimum annual income of USD $75,000 if the person is applying alone or
    • has a minimum annual income of USD $100,000 if the person is applying with dependents.
  3. A person issued a Long Stay Permit shall be entitled to enter and remain in Belize along with their dependents for a period NOT exceeding six months in any calendar year, as stated in the permit.
  4. A person issued a Long Stay Permit or his dependents shall not engage in employment in Belize.
  5. A permit issued by the department under this section shall not be extended.

 

Required Documents

  1. A Job Letter is issued within 30 days of the application if the applicant is employed by another person.
  2. Proof of registration of business and annual tax return if the applicant is self-employed.
  3. Proof of annual income in the amount of at least:
    • USD $75,000, if the person is applying alone; or
    • USD $100,000, if the person is applying with dependents.
  4. Notarized banking reference and Statement of Account.
  5. Police Record from the applicant’s country of residence, issued within six months of application.
  6. Certified copy of the bio-data page of the Applicant’s passport and Certified Copies of the bio-data page of each dependent’s passport.
  7. If the Applicant’s nationality is not in the Approved Countries List but resides in a country that is on the list, then the Applicant must provide Proof of Residence.

 

 

Internet on Ambergris Caye

Internet and connectivity on the island are top of the line with some of the fastest internet speeds in the region. Back in 2017, San Pedro went through significant upgrades. Now the town of San Pedro has some of the fastest internet speeds in Belize. In 2017, Ambergris Caye had a fiber-optic submarine cable installed with connectivity to San Pedro, enabling super-fast broadband speeds to the island of Ambergris Caye.
Since 2017, San Pedro Ambergris Caye has boasted the fastest internet in the country. Super fast Fiber-based Internet up to 130Mbps for home or business.

The Fiber Optic runs from Maskall to Bomba, and from Bomba to the coastline. From there, there is an underground via an SFOC to the island of San Pedro.

Most of Belize has WIFI with an LTE signal. However, there are places that boast stronger, more consistent internet like Ambergris Caye. With the high volume of tourism and the influx of expats that have moved to the country, and Ambergris Caye in particular, the service has improved to meet demand.

There are 2 primary providers of the internet in Ambergris Caye, Belize: SMART & Digi. Digi offers Fiber Optic internet with the fastest speeds. SMART offers reliable internet and is a popular alternative for areas that do not have fiber optic internet. You can see the rates and internet speeds below;

 

SMART Internet


Prices are in Belize Dollars

Digi Internet

Prices are in Belize Dollars

 

About the Belize Digital Nomad Visa

With the growing popularity of the digital nomad lifestyle, Belize is following many countries trying to lure digital nomads with tools and resources to work remotely. The Belize digital nomad visa is part of the Work Where You Vacation program, allowing digital nomads to live in the country for up to six months. It’s open to everyone working for a company based outside of Belize.

While the Belize Digital Nomad visa is only valid for six months, those who wish to extend their stay can apply for an extension. When you get approved for the Belize digital nomad visa, you will receive a permit to live temporarily in Belize. Applicants will also have the option to bring their dependents and spouses.

 

The Qualified Retirement Program Belize

Belize QRP

The Belize Qualified Retirement Program (QRP) is a special program designed to attract retirees and expatriates to live in Belize. The program offers various benefits to qualified individuals who meet the specified criteria. The Belize Retire & Invest program is also available for people looking to obtain Belize residency and QRP benefits through investment.

Belize offers retirees a lot of upsides: English-Speaking, British Common Law, Low-Tax Jurisdiction, close proximity to home, and warm Caribbean Climate.

The QRP is renowned as the most efficient path to foreign residency anywhere in the Americas and one of the primary reasons Belize is known as one of the best places to retire in the region (Caribbean & Central America) and, indeed, one of the best place to retire in the world.

Once the application process is completed, the program grants the applicant the equivalent of a green card as well as a wide array of other incentives. The benefits include a permanent exemption from all taxes in Belize (estate taxes, income taxes, capital gains taxes, and most import taxes). While the Belize QRP visa offers full-time residency, new residents can enjoy all the QRP benefits without spending the majority of the year in Belize for naturalized residency.

The requirements to successfully enter the Belize Qualified Retirement Program are remarkably simple when compared to residency programs elsewhere in the world.

An exciting new announcement is that the age to qualify for QRP residency is now 40 years old or more (prior to 2023, the age to qualify was 45+).

 

Belize Qualified Retirement Program

The Belize Qualified Retirement Program (QRP) was created to facilitate eligible people who meet the needed requirements, to obtain residency while allowing them an easy way to permanently live and retire and relax in Belize. The QRP is done through the BTB (Belize Tourism Board).

Here are some key points about the Belize QRP:

  1. Eligibility: To qualify for the Belize QRP, an individual must be at least 40 years old and be able to demonstrate a consistent income from a pension or annuity of at least $2,000 per month. This income must be derived from a source outside of Belize.
  2. Benefits: Participants in the QRP enjoy several benefits, including:
    • Exemption from Belizean taxes on income derived from sources outside Belize.
    • Import duty and tax exemptions on personal and household items, as well as a vehicle.
    • No restrictions on the repatriation of income or capital.
  3. Application Process: The application process for the Belize QRP involves submitting various documents, including proof of age, financial statements, and a police record. Applicants are also required to provide evidence of their pension or annuity income.
  4. Income Requirement: As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, the minimum income requirement for the QRP was $2,000 per month. However, it’s essential to check for any updates or changes in the program’s requirements, as these may have been adjusted.
  5. Renewal: QRP status is typically granted for one year initially and can be renewed annually. Participants must continue to meet the eligibility criteria to maintain their QRP status.
  6. Residency Requirements: QRP participants are not required to spend a specific amount of time in Belize, making it attractive for those who want to maintain a part-time or seasonal residence.
  7. Real Estate Investment: While there is no specific requirement to invest in real estate to qualify for the QRP, many participants choose to purchase property in Belize. The Belize real estate market can be an attractive option for those looking to retire in a tropical location.
  8. Community Integration: Many QRPs choose to become involved in local communities or join expatriate communities in Belize. This can provide a sense of community and support for individuals who are new to the country.

As regulations and program details can change, it’s important to check with the Belize Tourism Board or other official sources for the most up-to-date information on the Qualified Retirement Program in Belize.

Learn more about the QRP and the Retire & Invest Program below;

Belize Retire & Investment Residency

Belize QRP Program

 

Ambergris Caye Investment & Vacation Rental Data October 2023

Ambergris Caye Vacation Rentals

Ambergris Caye has been the epicenter of the Belize tourism surge and COVID recovery. This has led to growth in the Ambergris Caye Real Estate and investment in vacation rentals.

Ambergris Caye luckily has something we like to call “Island Economics.” When investing in an island, there is only so much land available. The limitations on available land create scarcity, not only scarcity of property but also a scarcity of land and completed resale homes. There is only so much land on an island. Island economics means that you see greater property appreciation on an island due to scarcity of property and limitations on how much can be built.

Tourism growth, increased awareness, offshore residency, and improved connectivity have all led to higher investment yields on vacation rental properties on Ambergris Caye. Ambergris Caye and San Pedro Town (the municipality on the island of Ambergris Caye) are by far the top destinations in Belize. Below, we look at the updated tourism data and vacation rental investment opportunities on Ambergris Caye!

 

Ambergris Caye Tourism

Ambergris Caye has seen tourism hitting all-time highs year-over-year as we become a globally recognized destination. From 2010 to 2023 (13 years), Ambergris Caye overnight tourism (people booking rental units) has grown at an annual compounded rate of 14.8% per year increase, with overnight tourism nearly doubling from 2010 to 2023 (+81.5% increase).

 

Belize Overnight Tourism

 

 

Belize Tourism Board Overnight Arrivals

 

Ambergris Caye Vacation Rental Inventory

Even though tourism is growing, the total rooms for rentals have stayed stagnant, with limited new losing inventory and often even a decline in inventory. Tourism is growing, and this usually correlates to added supply; that said, Ambergris Caye, Belize, is at the perfect time for investment as we have unique market conditions that have led to increased demand and a decrease in supply inventory.

Rental Inventory on Ambergris Caye has dropped by -4% from 2022 to 2023. Also dropped -13.9% over the last 3 years. This is largely due to the influx of people moving to Belize and the growing expat community and people who can work remotely.

 

Ambergris Caye Vacation Rental Lodging Inventory

 

For lodging, as a point of reference, Ambergris Caye saw -4% from last year. Lodging inventory for vacation rentals on Ambergris Caye has seen a -13.9% decrease over the last 3 years.

Ambergris Caye has had a compounded annual tourism growth over 12 years at an average of 14.8% per year.

As you can see, the 3-year trend has been consistent, with many quarters witnessing a dip in rental inventory (even with an increase in demand). This creates a unique opportunity for investors. With the shortage in supply and increase in demand, there is a need for more lodging and rentals.

 

Increase in Demand + Decrease in Supply = Increase in Price & Rent

 

 

 

 

 

Many industry experts predict Ambergris Caye real estate prices and nightly rental rates will continue to increase. This will lead to greater equity appreciation and a higher cash-flow yield.

Even though demand is on the rise, the supply has remained stagnant. With increased awareness comes increased demand, but the lodging and vacation rental inventory supply does not meet the demand growth.

 

Ambergris Caye Occupancy

 

 

In 2022, Ambergris Caye had an average vacation rental occupancy of 54.8%. In 2023, the average occupancy of vacation rentals has been at 61.3%. This is an increase of +11.9% year-over-year (2022 to 2023).

 

 

Ambergris Caye Nightly Rental Rates

 

In 2023, Ambergris Caye has seen ADR (Nightly Rental Rates) for vacation rentals increase by +15% from 2022. In 2023, the average nightly rental rate on Ambergris Caye has been $284 USD per night, which is up from $262 USD per night in 2022.

 

Ambergris Caye Investment Revenue

The increase in tourism with the lodging and vacation rental supply shrinking has led to higher occupancy and higher nightly rental rates (ADR). The increased occupancy and ADR have resulted in higher revenues. On Ambergris Caye, vacation rental gross revenue is up 30% in 2023 (from 2022).

 

Annual Average Rental Revenue

 

 

What is fascinating is the renal income for detached homes over condos (and the % annual growth).

 

Detached homes on Ambergris Caye have seen an average annual gross revenue of $88,850 US in 2023 (Airbnb income). Compared to condos, which saw an average gross yearly earnings of $44,300 US. Detached homes also saw a higher % growth at 23% annual revenue growth (condos with 14%) from 2022 to 2023.

For more information on investing in Belize and Ambergris Caye rental income investment opportunities, contact us at RE/MAX Belize!

 

Belize Residency Information & Programs

Belize Residency

Are you considering offshore Belize residency? Belize makes immigration and residency easy for investors, expats, and retirees looking to obtain Belize residency (for personal or investment).

Belize has been gaining increased popularity among foreigners, retirees, investors, and digital nomads. The Belize residency programs provide enhanced investment and travel opportunities.

In Belize, English is the primary language, and Belize’s legal system is based on British Common Law (a member of the British Commonwealth). Because of the British Common Law and British Parliamentary Democracy, Belize has a stable, democratic government and a stable and dynamic economy (also stable currency pegged 2:1 with USD).

For expats and investors, obtaining Belize residency is not prohibitive like in other countries. Residency in Belize is relatively straightforward, with a few routes available. For expats or retirees, Belize has the Qualified Retired Persons Program and the new Retire & Invest Program. These are great incentives for individuals looking to call Belize home and looking for long-term residency in Belize.

Belize also has investment residency programs that appeal to potential property owners and investors. In Belize, foreigners purchasing land or property are afforded the same rights as Belize citizens regarding property ownership.

Belize has full foreign ownership, and foreign investors can own Belize property outright with a fee-simple title. Belize is also a low-tax jurisdiction, with no capital gains or inheritance taxes (estate tax) in Belize.

The location of Belize (close proximity to the US & Canada), its warm Caribbean climate, low taxes, and welcoming culture make it an attractive place to invest, work, retire, and reside. The Belize residency programs also provide opportunities to travel, start a business, and optimize taxation.

This post provides information on obtaining Belize residency as well as the different residency programs Belize offers and the requirements.

 

Types of Belize Residency

Belize offers two distinct types of Residency status for foreigners:

  1. Permanent Residency: Permanent Residency would be suited for someone looking at being a resident in Belize. Permanent residency in Belize is for a person (or persons) who want to make Belize their home and will be staying in Belize for an extended period of time.
  2. Temporary Residency: Temporary Residency is for a person (or persons) who have made or are in the process of making a substantial investment in Belize (often in Belize real estate) but, due to commitments outside Belize, cannot meet ordinary Permanent Residence requirements.

 

Permanent Residency

For persons applying for Permanent Residency in Belize, you are required to:

  1. Have been legally residing in Belize for at least one year from submitting a residency application.
  2. During the one-year period, you have not left Belize for more than 14 days (2 weeks).
  3. Show proof to the Belize Immigration Office that you have been, and you will be able to continue financial stability and independence.
  4. Have not been convicted by a competent court in any country of a criminal offense for which you may have been liable to a sentence of imprisonment of twelve months or more and have not received a free pardon for the crime.

Documents Required for Permanent Residency

  1. Passport
  2. Medical Certificate and Tests
  3. Police Record
  4. Proof of Financial Stability
  5. Photographs
  6. Spouse and Child’s Documentation

 

Temporary Residency

A Temporary Residence (Temporary Residency) status can be given for one (1) year at a time. The temporary residency must be renewed every year. The temporary residency status becomes renewable at the end of that given period.

For persons applying for Temporary Residency, you are required to:

  1. Apply for temporary residency (temporary investment residency).
  2. Show evidence of investments in Belize valued at not less than Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand US Dollars – US $250,000 (five hundred thousand Belize Dollar – BZ$500,000).

Learn more from Belize Immigration.

Documents Required for Temporary Residency

  1. Passport
  2. Police Record
  3. Letter to Director
  4. Evidence of Residence in Belize
  5. Evidence of Investment in Belize

 

 

Belize Residency Options

Here is a general overview of residency options in Belize:

  1. Tourist Visa: Most visitors to Belize can enter the country as tourists without a visa and stay for up to 30 days. Extensions for up to 90 days are possible, but they come with associated fees. This is not a long-term residency option.
  2. Permanent Residency: Belize offers several pathways to permanent residency:
    • Retired Persons Program: This program is designed for retirees. To qualify, you must be at least 45 years old, provide proof of a consistent income, and meet certain financial requirements.
    • QRP (Qualified Retirement Program): The QRP is an attractive option for retirees. It provides tax benefits and allows for permanent residency. To qualify, you should be at least 45 years old, have a consistent income, and meet the financial requirements.
    • Self-Employed Program: If you plan to start a business in Belize, you can apply for permanent residency under this program. You’ll need to invest a certain amount of money in your business and meet other requirements.
  3. Naturalization Residency: The typical way people achieve Belizean residency is through the naturalized residency program. To obtain naturalized residency in Belize, you have to show you have been in Belize for a year (48 out of 50 weeks).
  4. Work Permits: If you plan to work in Belize, you will need a work permit. These permits are generally tied to employment, and your employer will often need to sponsor your application.
  5. Investor Residency: Belize offers opportunities for investors to obtain residency by making substantial investments in the country. The specifics of this program can vary, and it’s advisable to consult with an immigration attorney for details.
  6. Dependent Residency: If you have close family members who are legal residents or citizens of Belize, you may be eligible for dependent residency. This typically applies to spouses, children, or parents of Belizean citizens or residents.

 

Keep in mind that the process for obtaining residency in Belize can vary from person to person. People have different processes, which may involve various documentation, fees, and specific requirements. It’s advisable to work with someone who specializes in Belizean immigration to guide you through the process and ensure that you meet all the necessary requirements.

 

Belize Tourist Visa

You do not need to have residency to live or invest in Belize. Residency is not required to own a property (foreigners have the same ownership rights as locals/nationals). Residency is also not needed to be in Belize or visit Belize. If you are visiting Belize (as an American or Canadian), you do not require a travel visa.

When you enter Belize (as a tourist), you are issued a 30-day tourist visa in your passport. Belize is a very easy country to travel to, and US & Canadian travelers do not require any visas when traveling to Belize. The majority of countries and passports can travel to Belize freely and without a visa for 30 days.

Visitors can continue to renew their tourist visa if they want to stay in Belize without restrictions on length (as long as they get their visa renewed).

Americans & Canadians can travel to Belize and remain in Belize without time constraints. When a visitor arrives in Belize, they are issued a 30-day

Belize Tourist Visa

 

Naturalized Residency Belize

Permanent residents in Belize can work without a permit and no longer need to renew their visas every month or year. The naturalized residency (which requires time) is the most common route for Belize residency.

To be eligible for permanent residency in Belize, you need to live continuously in the country for one year without leaving the country for over 14 days. You must apply through the Department of Immigration and Nationality Services.

The typical way people achieve Belizean residency is through the standard residency program. To obtain residency in Belize, you have to show you have resided in Belize for a year, and have been in Belize for 48 weeks of the year. This is a naturalized residency.

 

Belize Investment Residency

The Belize Investment Residency program is designed for investors and entrepreneurs with investments in Belize valued at a minimum of $250,000 US.

The most common Belize investment for residency is through Belize real estate investment or owning Belize land. You can apply for the investment residency through proof of land or real estate in Belize valued above $250,000 US.

The most common sector is real estate investment, but there is also business investment. There are no restrictions on the business or any fixed sector to invest in. You can invest in tourism, agriculture, etc. This allows you to live, work, and conduct investments and business in Belize.

The investment residency can be done remotely. A person applying for the investment residency does not need to be in Belize to file this application.

The Belize Investment Residency is also called the “Temporary Investment Residency” and allows investors in Belize to obtain residency if they show they have invested over $500,000 BZ ($250,000 US) in Belize. This is most commonly done through real estate. The reason it is called “Temporary” is that you have to show every year that the investment continues in Belize.

Investment Residency is for one (1) year at a time. The temporary investment residency must be renewed every year.

Belize Investment Residency

 

Belize Qualified Retired Person Program (QRP)

If you are over the age of 45, have no intention of working in Belize, and can prove you meet the monthly retirement income requirements, you may qualify for the QRP (Qualified Retired Person) Program. The QRP program grants residency to people who hold status. The QRP is renewable each year, with the only requirement being that you spend a minimum of 30 days of the year in Belize.

Learn More About Belize QRP

 

Belize Work Permit

If you plan to work in Belize as a foreigner, you may require a “Work Permit.”

If you are planning to work for a company in Belize, the company hiring you will sponsor the work permit on your behalf. Suppose you are self-employed or planning to start a business in Belize (and work at the business). In that case, you likely need to apply for a self-employed foreigner or business registration.

If you do not apply for a residency status and continue to work and live in Belize, the work permit will be renewed annually.

 

Belize Citizenship

After living in Belize for at least five years as a permanent resident, you may be eligible to apply for citizenship through naturalization. The requirements for naturalization can change, so it’s essential to check the most recent criteria.

Once you’ve been a permanent resident for at least five years, you can apply to become a citizen of Belize. Belize allows dual citizenship, which means you can maintain Belizean and offshore citizenship (and passports). It is attractive for investors as they do not have to relinquish their domestic citizenship when they acquire Belizean Citizenship.

Belize recognizes dual citizenship. The Nationality Department does not require you to renounce citizenship from other countries.

Once you have Belize citizenship, you get the benefits of Belize’s CARICOM membership. With Belizean Citizenship, you can move freely through, live, and work in other Caribbean member countries.

 

 

Belize Residency Process

The process for residency varies depending on the person and the program. That said, generally, the residency process goes as follows;

  1. Step 1: Gather the required documents
  2. Step 2: Submission of application
  3. Step 3: Interview with Immigration
  4. Step 4: Interview with Police Department
  5. Step 5: Notification by the Immigration Office
  6. Step 6: Payment and Submission of Security Bond
  7. Step 7: Delivery of Residence Card

Belize Residency is relatively easy to acquire. You will need to follow the necessary steps. All applications are also subject to a background check or Police Record Check.

 

Residency in Belize

Belize offers a good range of visa and residency options covering just about any reason for being in Belize. Which option is right for you depends on your purpose for being in Belize:

  1. Long-term Scouting Trip: If you’re visiting Belize to test if it might be right for you as a new home, the Belize Tourist Visa (with renewals) will be your best choice.
  2. Snowbird or Wintering in Belize: If you’re escaping the bitter cold of “home” for several months each year or using Belize as a part-time vacation home, the Belize Tourist Visa (with renewals) is also your best option.
  3. Retiring in Belize: If you plan to retire and move to Belize with no intention of working (or running your own business), you should look at the Qualified Retirement Program. If you plan on opening a business or investing, you may want to look at the new Retire & Invest Program (through QRP and BTB).
  4. Moving to Belize: If you want to move to Belize but plan to work (or run your own business), a Work Permit may be the right direction. After a year, you can have naturalized Belizean residency.
  5. Investing in Belize: If you are looking to invest in Belize and have an offshore residency through investment, the Temporary Investment Residency could likely be a great option.

 

If you seek to obtain offshore residency with ease, with a minimal physical presence in the country, Belize residency may appeal to you. There are a few options and routes someone can take to obtain Belize residency. If you are looking at offshore residency or want to learn more about Belize Residency, contact us!